I’ve been able to sleep a lot better the past week after hearing the news that the recession officially ended over a year ago. I’m sort of surprised no one noticed it earlier; it must be a relief to quite a few people like the almost 10 percent of the working population who are still looking for jobs. The 93,777 families who had their homes seized by banks in August are probably pretty happy to hear the recession is over as well; if only someone had told them sooner. New home sales were down almost 30 percent in August from where they were in August 2009, which wasn’t exactly a strong month to begin with; so where exactly can we see evidence that this recession has officially ended?

Old Houses in Trouble  photo from nytimes.com

Old Houses in Trouble photo from nytimes.com

I’m not an economist and I didn’t sleep at a Holiday Inn Express last night, but I sure don’t see any signs that the economy is improving. I still read about California having problems keeping its historic old houses open for the public to tour and Mark Twain’s historic home in Hartford, Connecticut is still dancing around foreclosure and hoping for help. Edith Wharton’s historic old house in Massachusetts was facing foreclosure a year or so ago and may not be out of the woods yet. I’m sure there are many other historic old houses that are either in foreclosure or facing it; many of these homes owned by preservation organizations rely on donations to survive and if people don’t have any extra money, there may not be enough money coming in to keep the doors open.

People can talk all they want about the recovery being underway and the recession being over and maybe it is for all the corporations that received assistance allowing them to continue in business, but until the unemployed have jobs and the employed are comfortable their jobs are secure, the economy is going to struggle. But what do I know; I’m obviously not an economist as I thought we were still in a recession.

Historic New Windows for Old Houses

Foreclosure Looming?  photo from wrensnestonline.com

Foreclosure Looming? photo from wrensnestonline.com

This isn’t really an endorsement as I haven’t used Weather Shield’s HR175 windows that were developed for historic renovations, but I have used regular Weather Shield windows in the past and they are very good. I was doing research for a window article and also looking for some wood windows for my old house when I came across their website and they seem worth looking into. I’m interested in seeing one in real life as one of my pet peeves has always been the wide mullions of modern true divided lite windows. These HR175 windows supposedly have historically accurate 7/8 inch mullions which is what I believe my old windows have. If anyone has used these windows, please let me know.

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  1. 3 Responses  to “Recession Over For Whom?”

  2. Aug 29, 2011
    Interesting thoughts Conrad. I'm sure part of the reason historic housing is failing is because people are holding onto their money, rather than donating it, but I think another part of it is that people just don't care anymore. When most people go on vacation, they don't want to go to visit historic houses. It's probably a product of my generation (I'm 26) but we want adventure...not a boring house tour. I don't think it's a good indicator. As for New home sales being down 30%, what's the point in building new homes when there are so many "apparent" foreclosures at slashed pricing? Being in the building industry, our customer base has shifted from credit to cash, builder to homeowner/remodeler. But here's a secret...The foreclosure number is way off. There's a large volume of foreclosures that are unlivable and ultimately have to be torn down to the foundation. The job market has changed. I don't think there will ever be such a thing as job security again...and I think that's a good thing. Security gives us a reason to be complacent...complacency is part of what got us here in the first place. As any cycle goes, when a dip is deep and fast...the rise will equal it's volume. I'm hoping it will be a slow return to a stable point, rather than a quick return to an inflated point. Great insight Conrad.
  3. Jonny
    Aug 29, 2011
    I'm sure that the gov't is hoping that the power of suggestion will work, and if they SAY the recession is over, then everyone will run out and charge a bunch of crap on their credit cards..problem solved!!!!
  4. Sal
    Aug 29, 2011
    With nearly everyone knowing someone or has been directly affected by the recession, it would have been nice to know it has been over for quite some time now. A good friend may be experiencing first hand losing his home in Norwich, CT. with renovations near completion.